Day 17 of quarantine: I’m sitting around at my house, piles of work to do yet still bored out of my mind. Trying to do schoolwork from home makes it so easy to get distracted. I seem to have fallen into the mindset that, oh, I have all the time in the world. I don’t have to go anywhere, and it’s not going to matter whether I finish this in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night about 23 minutes before it’s due. From what I’ve been seeing on social media, I’m not the only one with this mindset. Clearly, since people have the time to post about it.
Since I procrastinated so long, I now have to write almost an entire essay in less than two hours. I’ve always been a speedy writer, but it’s so hard to write about something you’re not interested in. Either way, I have to make myself to finish this horrible piece of work about crop rotation or my grade will drop in the class.
After eating nearly an entire bag of potato chips(no, I’m not sorry) and checking my phone for the ten thousandth time today, I force myself into my chair and stare blankly at the computer. I’d much rather be writing something fun, but this essay isn’t going to type itself. Finally, I check my notes and start to slowly crank out the words.
Ah, yes- I forgot about the being that had cost me hours of writing. My cat hops up onto my desk, sniffing around. He seems to sense when I’m writing something important, only so he can mess me up.
“No, Midnight… not now. Please.”
As if he could understand me. I’ve heard stories of people going insane during quarantine; I think I’ve finally reached that point, where I talk to my cat as if he were a human. Man, usually human interaction scares me, but now I could kinda use some.
Midnight rubs up against the side of the computer, a few of his black hairs getting stuck to it. Thank goodness I decided to use a big computer and not my school laptop; he’s figured out how to shut it with his paw. I decide to somewhat give in to him(probably out of insanity); I know what he’s here for.
“Alright, I know what you want, chill. I really need to finish this.”
I must really be crazy. Of course he doesn’t understand, he keeps rubbing against the monitor and staring at me. He meows one more time, yellow eyes in slits as he waits expectingly.
“Midnight, not now, please. Shoo!”
I try to nudge him off of the desk, but he stands strong and decides to pretend that I was just petting him instead. He rubs against my hand, purring and acting like he’s the most innocent creature on the face of this Earth.
“I know what you’re doing, and it’s not going to work. Go away.”
Midnight does this all the time when he wants something. He purrs and acts all cute, hoping that I’ll give him what he wants… and he doesn’t stop until I give into him. Once he gets his way, he’ll walk away or stop being affectionate towards me. He won’t purr when I pet him after he’s been satisfied. That’s what makes this even more annoying.
In spite of my resistance, Midnight decides to take this one step further. He gingerly places a paw on my keyboard, pressing down on the A, Q, and S keys all at once and triggering a long keyboard smash that messes up the most recent sentence in my essay. This does it; I grab his paw and shove it back towards him in a futile attempt to make it known that he isn’t allowed to do that.
“No. Paws off, either sit there quietly or go away!”
I quickly delete his gibberish and continue the sentence the way it was meant to continue. Working on the essay is torture, but I know I have to get it finished.
Midnight puts his paw on the keyboard again, this time tapping instead of pressing down so that I can’t remove his paw. He taps the keys a few times, adding A’s and Q’s where I don’t want them and pulling his paw back before I can force it away.
“I swear, if you don’t stop-“
When I stop typing to yell at him, he presses his paw down and creates Keyboard Smash Number Two. My essay isn’t great to begin with, but I do not need extra letters taking more points off of my grade. I look Midnight in the eyes; he stares back at me, slit eyes growing a bit in hope.
“You’re lucky I was craving more chips. Come on.”
I groan and get out of my chair, Midnight hopping off the desk to follow me. I trudge into the bathroom, where I turn on the faucet for him. He won’t drink out of a water bowl unless he’s desperate; he prefers the bathroom sink. He also prefers that I give him the water from my hand instead of leaning over and drinking it from the sink by himself. However, I don’t have the time to feed it to him today.
“You’re just going to have to do it yourself today. Go ahead.”
I gesture towards the sink, but he just stares at me again. In hopes of him understanding, I put my hands behind my back, which seems to work. He hesitates for a bit, then leans down and puts his mouth under the faucet. Thank goodness.
After eating some more potato chips from a new bag(still not sorry), I go to turn off the faucet(Midnight must have left a bit ago) and return to my computer before I lose what’s left of my dwindling inspiration. However, I come back to find Midnight sitting on my keyboard, his body pressing down on the keys and surely causing chaos within my essay.
I grab the cat, moving him onto the floor as I check the damage done to my essay. To my horror, everything has been deleted. Control + Z, Control + Z… I feel myself getting frantic as nothing is working to recover my hard work. Midnight seems oblivious to what he has just done; he’s sitting on the floor with the dopey, I-am-an-innocent-bean look.
“Happy with yourself, Midnight? I lost all my hard work.”
With less than an hour left and zero clue what I had written in the first half of my essay, I can’t help but panic. Nothing I did brought back the words that the cat had deleted, and there’s no way I’d be able to completely re-write what I had in the short amount of time remaining before the due date.
Unsatisfied with the short lack of attention, Midnight jumps up onto the desk again and glares at me in hopes of being pet.
“Nope. You don’t deserve that. You need to leave so I can write an email to my teacher… hope she believes me…”
I open up an email draft, but once again find myself at a loss for words. Would my teacher really believe me if I say, oh, hi, my cat sat only keyboard and somehow deleted my entire essay. Can you please give me more time? If I were a teacher I wouldn’t. I need evidence- then it hits me.
“Midnight, stay right there.”
I grab my phone, pointing the camera at him and snapping a picture before he moves. I don’t know if a picture of a cat next to a computer would be enough to convince my teacher, but it’s better than nothing. Once I airdrop the picture to my computer and write what might possibly the stupidest- and best- email I have ever written, I lean back in my chair and sigh. If this works, I may be placed in the worst-reasons-to-have-a-deadline-pushed-back hall of fame.
Grasping for attention, Midnight moves closer to me(refusing to jump on my lap because he’s in no way affectionate or nice like most cats unless he wants something, as we saw earlier) and demands to be pet again. I don’t have a good reason to refuse, so I put my hand on his head and scratch behind his ears.
“Proud of yourself, aren’t you? You’d better hope my teacher is a sucker for cat pictures, or I might have to take away your sink privileges for awhile.”
Of course, he can’t understand me, so he doesn’t know that I’m threatening him. Honestly, not letting him drink from the sink wouldn’t be that helpful for me anyways, since he just bothers me until he gets what he wants. I guess that’s just the life of a cat owner, except I suppose in this case the cat owns the owner. I just hope I get more time to work on my essay. And, if I do, maybe I’ll have to keep Midnight in another room. Knowing him, it will probably be the bathroom… with the sink running.